This study was conducted to identify the Socio demographic Correlates and the Preventive Measures of Elder Abuse. Six research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. Correlational survey design method was used in the study. Population for the study was 15600 elderly men and women in Imo East Senatorial District of Imo State. Sample of 312 respondents were selected using purposive sampling technique. Researcher designed instrument titled Elder Abuse Questionnaire (EAQ) was used to collect data from respondents. Validation of the instrument was done using test re test method. Data were collected on face to face bases with the aid of introductory letter from the Head of Department .Research question one was answered using frequency and percentage, research question two to six were answered using mean and standard deviation, while hypotheses one to four were tested using simple regression analysis. The following are the major findings: Elderly persons are moderately abused. Both studied age groups had moderate abuse experience. Elderly males and females both had moderate abuse experience. Elders in all the four groups (NFE, PE, SE, and TE) all had moderate abuse experience. Elders in urban areas had moderate abuse while those in rural areas had low proportion of abuse. All the 22 suggested elder abuse preventive measures were found to be appropriate. There was no significant relationship found between elder abuses based on age. There was significant relationship found between elder abuse based on gender. There was significant relationship found between level of education and elder abuse. Finally, it was found out that there was no significant relationship between location and elder abuse. The study recommended among others that both government and non-governmental agencies using mass media, voluntary agencies and health educators should carry out public awareness and education campaigns addressing forms, ills and consequences of elder abuse.


Title page
Table of contents
List of abbreviations
List of Tables
List of Figures

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature
Conceptual Framework
Elder Abuse
Forms of elder abuse
Socio demographic factors influencing elder abuse
Consequences of elder abuse
Preventive measures of elder abuse
Theoretical Framework
Attachment theory
Power and control wheel theory
Caregiver stress theory
Ecological model
Empirical Studies
Summary of Literature Review

CHAPTER THREE:            Methods
Research Design
Area of Study
Population for the Study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of the instruments
Reliability of the instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: Results and Discussion
Summary of Major Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Limitations of the Study
Suggestions for Further Study


Background to the Study
Elder abuse is a major social and public health problem affecting the aged in the globe. Ola and Olalekan (2012) stated that elder abuse in domestic setting constitute a major social and public health problem suffered by men and women of sixty years and above across the boundaries of culture, religion, class and ethnicity. Elder abuse as observed by Bartley (2011) means harmful act toward the adult, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect including self-neglect. The problem of elder abuse is largely hidden under the shroud of family secrecy. The signs of elder abuse are not recognized, leading to gross under reporting (Wyandt, 2004). As the population of the aged in both developed and developing countries continues to grow because of family planning and higher standard of living, elder abuse is still an issue that must not be ignored. Elder abuse is a growing social and public health problem that does not receive the level of concern it deserves in the light of the devastating effect on the aged and other family members.

Internationally there is under reporting of elder abuse. This statement is buttressed by Profile on Aging, (1998) who stated that globally, there is gross under reporting of elder abuse. The aged are being abused on daily basis because of their frailty and dependency on family members and caregivers (Chiskin, 2014). National Council on Ageing and Older People –NCAOP (2009) estimated after her study on elder abuse prevalence study in United States that elder abuse occurred in the communities between 1 per cent to 5 per cent of the population aged 60 years and older.

Locally, Nigeria is one of the countries where the elders are being abused. National Population Commission–NPC (2006), observed that Nigeria is not left out in elder abuse issue. Mudiare (2013) unveiled in her elder abuse incidence study carried out in Lagos, titled ‘Elders Also Cry’; that there is higher incidence of elder abuse in Nigeria despite the respect elders command. Though from 2006, there has been intensification of awareness of abuse as a public and social issue emanating in most Nigerian cities from the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, yet, elder abuse is still to receive the appropriate attention it deserves from the society and the government (NPC, 2006).
Elderly as unveiled by National Council on Ageing and Older People –NCAOP (2009) means people from 60 years and above. Hornby (2010) opined that the elderly is the person that is advanced in age and has influence and authority in the community. Fernandez, (2012) contended that the elderly means a person of a great age or seniority who has passed middle age. Contributing, Hansel (2009) viewed elderly as a member of a family, tribal group (Ethnic), or village who is advanced in years and has influence and authority within the community. The elderly as observed by WHO (2005) means a person that has clocked Sixty Years and above in age. Elder in this context means a person that is sixty (60) years and above.

The elderly people are found in different locations in the world. Such elders are possibly prone to abuse. In Nigeria, the elderly are also in different states. In Imo East Senatorial District which is in Imo State the elders are found in their homes, in the churches, pensioners meeting and Aladimma community meetings. These elderly persons, because of their frail nature, are commonly abused by family members or caregivers.

Abuse as observed by Fernandez (2012) means maltreatment, insult, use of foul language on somebody. Hornby (2010) defined abuse as use of force to inflict injury on another person. Howland (2007) defined violence broadly as any act that is harmful to the victims such as physical harm, emotional consequences, and measure of the severity of the harm. Abuse is a physical or verbal behaviour in which the aim is to harm, injure or destroy someone or something (Ene, 2004). Kirkpatrick (2007) defined abuse as great roughness and force often causing severe physical injury or damage. Violence as defined by Hornby (2010) means a behaviour that is intended to hurt or kill someone. Ali and Naylor (2013) defined violence as any unjust or cruel state of affairs or maltreatment of another human being. In the context of this study violence refers to the use of force in terms of power and control by caregivers over the elderly that is not socially accepted within a particular place or culture.

Violence is categorized into three. World Health Organization (2005) categorized Violence into three known as self-directed act or violence, nature of violence, and interpersonal violence. Continuing in explanation of the three categories of violence World Health Organization (2007) stated that self directed act embrace suicidal behaviours; nature of violence comprises of physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, financial deprivation or abuse, neglect and self neglect; while interpersonal violence is made up of family and community violence. Mudiare ( 2013) contributed by stating that family or partner violence is comprised of partner abuse, child abuse, siblings abuse and elderly abuse, while community or collection violence is made up of social, political and emotional violence. For the purpose of this study, violence focused on the elderly which is an aspect of family violence (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2005) will be studied. One could be abused verbally or physically using force (violence).Violence or abuse of the aged is called Elder Abuse by today’s researchers.

Elder abuse as a problem dates back to ancient times. Recognition of abuse as a health and human right violation problem was underscored and strengthened by agreement and declaration at key international conferences during the 1990s including the world conference on Human Right in Vienna 1993. Through these international agreements governments have increasingly recognized the need to develop broad multi-sectoral approaches for the prevention of, and response to abuse against elderly and have committed itself to implement the institutional and legislative reforms necessary to achieve this goal (WHO, 2005).

Many authors have defined elder abuse. National Center on Elder Abuse (2005) defined elder abuse as any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk to a vulnerable adult. WHO (2005) defined elder abuse as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an elderly person, or violates his or her human and civil rights. Coulin (1995) defined elder abuse as harmful act toward the aged, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect including self-neglect. Elderly abuse means an omission or commission to inflict harm directly or indirectly on an elderly person to reduce his or her self-worth and self–esteem. It involves, but not restricted to acts to include passive neglect, verbal or emotional abuse and physical assault or physical abuse. In furtherance, Kelly, Albers, West and Baker, (1996) viewed granny battering, material exploitation, elderly castigation, use of the elderly as the family watch dog, violation of rights and neglect for the elder’s medication, feeding, shelter and all sorts of deprivation as forms of elderly abuse that are common these days. In this context, elder abuse will be taken as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates his or her human or civil rights (WHO, 2005)......

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